UPDATES 8 am Israel time Monday:
*The new, unelected, Palestinian PM Hamdallah visited the Temple Mount yesterday and declared that the PLO will soon begin to implement projects in Jerusalem to support Palestinians. Hamdallah had this to say: “Jerusalem and its holy sites are of the highest priority to the Palestinian Authority’s new government.”
What a pathetic joke. These are the same Palestinians who worked in concert with the Jordanians from 1948 to 1967 to destroy or degrade every single Jewish holy site in the old city of Jerusalem.
*Haaretz and Maariv on the brink of bankruptcy and others close behind: the fascinating deterioration of Israeli mainstream news organizations on the “left” of the political spectrum continues. For reasons that are inexplicable to your humble servant, one of the most popular news sources in Israel, Yediot Aharonot’s online YNet service, began to sharply veer to the left at the beginning of this year.
The following chart from Alexa shows the result:
Two nights ago as your humble servant was flying into Israel, he struck up an interesting conversation with the passenger sitting beside him, an evangelical preacher from the Los Angeles area.
When I asked him why he was coming to Israel, he said it was to finish his doctoral dissertation. When I asked him about whether he was deterred by the BDS movement which has fought so hard to stop people from coming to Israel, he didn’t have the slightest idea what I was talking about.
The simple fact of the matter is that nothing that BDS can conjure up can stop people from coming here. Sure, there may be the occasional entertainer or celebrity (one thinks of the recent contorted explanations of scientist Steven Hawking) who refuse to come on self-proclaimed and flatulent “moral grounds”, but the world continues pouring into this tiny country.
Last month, May of 2013, saw the all-time record for tourists to Israel: 336,000 came here–5% more than May of 2012 and 11% more than May of 2010.
In the first five months of this year, 1.4 million tourists have come here. At this rate, more than 3,000,000 visitors will come to Israel this year–another record.
And it is not just people who are coming here. Businesses are pouring in to invest in everything Israeli. Yesterday it was announced that Rhone Capital, a New York based private equity fund, is buying Eden Springs Water (which markets water from the Israeli Golan Heights) for 240,000,000 Euros. Last week, Google purchased WAZE for another $1.03 billion.
It is rumored that Pepsi is about to buy controlling interest in yet another Israeli company, Sodastream.
The list goes on and on. Businesses simply cannot afford to be on the outside of Israel looking in. The country has morphed from being primarily a research and development center to being one of the dynamic creative centers of the world.
In the end, we have the paradox that as the BDS campaign targeting academic centers has increased in intensity with limited success, the BDS campaign targeting the general public has devolved into nothingness.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the public just doesn’t care is the total hypocrisy of BDS itself, a hypocrisy that can be seen in regard to the aforementioned Sodastream.
The company’s main headquarters are in Judean Jewish community of Maaleh Adumim just outside the eastern borders of Jerusalem beside the highly contentious E1 area. It is for that reason that BDS has been consumed with boycotting the company for the last few years.
Of course, the irony is that virtually all of the 1800 workers in the Sodastream plant are Palestinians–all of whom would lose their jobs should BDS succeed in closing down the plant.